The Los Angeles Dodgers have had a historic offseason. Unfortunately, there is no other way to put it. The SF Giants division rivals continued adding to an already strong roster by re-signing veteran pitcher Clayton Kershaw to a one-year contract with a player option for 2025, per a team announcement.
SF Giants division rival and longtime nemesis to return for a 17th season
Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic (subscription required) reports that Kershaw could up to $12 million in 2024 and with a player option that guarantees him at least $10 million for 2025. This deal confirms that he will return for a 17th season with the Dodgers.
There were questions as to whether he would return, retire, or sign with a different team. The left-handed hurler grew up in Texas and has long been connected to the Texas Rangers each time he hits free agency. That said, it is difficult to imagine him in another uniform.
The other question was whether he would hang up his spikes. Kershaw underwent shoulder surgery at the beginning of the offseason. He will start the season on the injured list as he continues to recover but is aiming for a midseason return to the mound.
The 16-year veteran had a brutal final start in 2023. He allowed six earned runs while recording just one out against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 1 of the NLDS. The Diamondbacks would go on to win that series in three games, but lose to the Rangers in the World Series.
That is not how Kershaw wanted to go out and he will get a few more opportunities to redeem himself. There is no question whatsoever that he is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but his postseason track record is a bit more checkered. While the Giants have only made playoffs once since the start of 2017, fans have taken joy at the expense of Kershaw's struggles in October.
At the end of the day, he will go down as one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history and a nemesis to the Giants. He has a 210-92 record with a 2.48 ERA while earning three Cy Young awards and 10 All-Star selections in his career. His time with Los Angeles might be coming to an end by the end of this deal, but he will continue to be a thorn in the Giants' side for as long as he can remain on the mound.